Jul.7 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone says he advised Sebastian Vettel to go public about the way he was axed by Ferrari.
Before last weekend, the official story was that the quadruple world champion and the Maranello team had decided mutually to part ways after 2020.
But Vettel shattered that narrative in Austria, revealing that he was given his marching hours before any contract negotiations took place.
Continuing to explain on Monday to Servus TV, Vettel revealed: “The money did not matter at all and would not have been a problem.”
Former F1 supremo Ecclestone, known to be a close Vettel confidante, told Sport1 that he advised Vettel to go public with the information.
“It was important for him,” the 89-year-old said.
“Sebastian is an extremely talented driver with a strong will but he is very sensitive when he has to live with unfairness. He has now freed himself of that,” added Ecclestone.
“I have spoken to Sebastian a lot lately. I advised him that the truth needs to be put on the table.”
Ecclestone rejects Ross Brawn’s claim that Vettel was obviously “distracted” by his uncertain future when he clashed with Carlos Sainz on Sunday.
“That had nothing to do with it,” Ecclestone said. “Lewis Hamilton also didn’t have the best weekend in Austria.”
Fascinatingly, it emerges that Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko also advised Vettel to plant the bombshell about the shock phone call from Mattia Binotto.
“I called him right after I split up with Ferrari,” Vettel confirms. “Firstly just to ask for advice because we have known each other for so long.”
Marko told Servus TV: “The fact that Sebastian waited so long to tell the truth shows what a great team player he is.”
It all means that persistent rumours about Vettel perhaps finding refuge at Red Bull next year will continue for now.
When asked about his next move, Vettel said: “I haven’t made a decision yet and I don’t know anything.
“But it is important to find an environment that fits me. Racing is my life and I feel comfortable and motivated in Formula 1.”
As for his current team, Vettel said: “I really enjoyed my time at Ferrari. But it also took a lot of energy from me.”